Last week, my dad and I took Mira to Sea World. She had a great time. We saw 3 shows: the Shamu show, the one with the dolphins and the aerialists, and the goofy one with the sea lions and otter. She seemed to really like it when the whales or dolphins would jump up out of the water. Every time it happened, she pointed and then signed "more". I did learn that the trick to getting her to sit through a show is to not arrive too early and to bring in a snack. If we were sitting there too long for the show to start, she'd get antsy or fussy. And I think with all the fun things to do and see, she just forgot to say when she was hungry... until we'd sit down to wait for a show and then she'd remember. I had planned for her to nap in the stroller because the idea of trying to leave the park in the middle of the day and then come back later was just too cumbersome for me. She did fall asleep in the stroller twice, but she only stayed asleep for 15-20 minutes, if that. But despite the lack of a good nap, she made it all the way from when the park opened at 10am until 6pm when we left for dinner. She was utterly exhausted by the end of that, though. But that was good because it meant that she slept all the way back to Austin, thereby escaping the carsickness that had plagued us on the trip down.
Mira's favorite thing by far was the sea lion enclosure. She could have leaned on that wall for hours, just watching the sea lions swim around. Several of the female sea lions had recently born pups, so she was also really interested in watching them. We saw them nursing and saw the mother sea lions caring for them, helping them back out of the water and such. It was pretty cool.
One of the last things we did that day was to go see the dolphin tank. With the sea lions, you are looking down into a pool that is maybe 10 feet below, so they are pretty far away. But with the dolphins, the water comes right up to the edge of the wall. They are so close you can reach out and touch them. I think this was a little unnerving to Mira at first because it took her a while to warm up to the dolphins, but she did eventually decide that they were kinda cool, though she kept a wary eye on them.
The only thing that Mira really DID NOT LIKE was feeding the lorikeets (a tropical bird, like a parakeet). You could buy these cups of nectar, then go into their enclosure and the birds would fly right up to you, land on you, and drink the nectar out of the cup. Well Mira thought this was kinda neat until one landed on her head and then TOTAL MELTDOWN. I did manage to get one good picture before she lost it and we had to rapidly evacuate the birds' enclosure.
They were selling a "Fun Pass" for the same price as a single day admission that would allow you to come back as often as you want for the remainder of the year. We went ahead and bought those instead of just a single day pass (no point not doing so, they were the same price). So we can come back any time we want. I would really like to go back again, though I think we'll wait till the weather is cooler.